Freiman’s Clutch Hit Gives Nashville Win

Sounds5The Sounds entered the bottom of the eighth inning down by two runs but rattled off four runs and evened the series against the Cubs on Wednesday night at First Tennessee Park with a 6-4 victory.

Nashville’s largest output in the eighth inning this season had been three runs, but they surpassed that by plating four, all with two outs. Niuman Romero singled to lead off and Bryan Anderson followed with a walk. After having the next two batters record outs, the inning rested on Ryan Roberts, who drove in Romero by singling to right. With runners on the corners, Jason Pridie grounded a ball to third baseman Christian Villanueva, who delivered an errant throw that helped the tying run cross the plate.

As both runners sat in scoring position, Nate Freiman stepped to the dish and powered a ground ball back up the middle for a two-run single. With the RBI, the first baseman has driven a run in during four of his last five games.

The come-from-behind win was Nashville’s seventh this season. The drama was saved for the later innings due to the terrific pitching matchup earlier in the game.

Cody Martin boasted the upper hand on the I-Cubs’ offense through the first four innings on Wednesday night. He struck out three and was perfect in the opening frames before allowing a leadoff double in the fifth. After Iowa exploded for nine runs in Tuesday’s opener, the right-hander limited them to three runs, two earned, on four hits over 6 1/3 innings. It was his second consecutive start to pitch into the seventh inning and he finished with five strikeouts.

Unfortunately for Martin, the Nashville offense ran into a live arm that featured pinpoint location. Felipe Paulino had a 2-6 record entering the evening, but pitched like a man on a mission. He fanned two batters in each of the first five frames, capping the streak off by sitting down the side in the fifth all via the strikeout. The power right-hander concluded his night without allowing a walk in six plus innings. He surrendered two runs in the seventh prior to his exit but set a career high with 12 strikeouts. Paulino became just the third pitcher in the PCL to record 12 strikeouts in a game this season.

The Cubs got a run in four straight innings. Rubi Silva and John Andreoli helped push the game’s first run in, smacking back-to-back doubles in the fifth. The Cubs kept the hits rolling when Javy Baez scored on an error in the sixth, Junior Lake drew a bases loaded walk in the seventh and John Andreoli highlighted the barrage with a solo shot in the eighth.

Aaron Kurcz allowed a run in the eighth, but got the win by throwing 1 2/3 innings. All five outs were acquired by the strikeout. Angel Castro notched his second save of the season, striking out Javy Baez with a runner on first to give Nashville the win.

The Sounds gave the First Tennessee Park crowd a reason to cheer by scratching out a pair of runs in the seventh. Craig Gentry led off with a well-placed bunt down the third base line for a single and Joey Wendle followed by lining a single to center. The third hit in a row came when Roberts lifted a double that landed shy of the 403 marker in centerfield. The run-scoring extra-base hit pulled Nashville within one before Freiman’s big hit in the eighth.

Romero was the lone hitter in the Sounds lineup without a strikeout and Roberts led the way offensively for Nashville, driving in three with two base hits.

The Sounds and Cubs are back at it on Thursday night at First Tennessee Park. The 7:05 game will feature lefty Brad Mills (4-10, 3.94) in search of his first win at home. Iowa is scheduled to counter with Carlos Pimentel (7-5, 3.71) in the third game of the series. Nashville will celebrate Throwback Thursday tomorrow night with $2 soft drink and beer specials presented by iHeart Media.